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Author Topic:   Fuel removal from tank ?
Whaler4me posted 05-24-2001 09:39 AM ET (US)   Profile for Whaler4me   Send Email to Whaler4me  
What is the best way to remove gasoline from a fuel tank ? I could use an air compressor to blow the fuel out by air pressure, or go to West Marine and by a fuel pump. Anyone done this before, and if so how did you do it ?


Tom W Clark posted 05-24-2001 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Just use gravity. As long as you drain the fuel into something lower than the boat's fuel tank you can just use the fuel hose and primer bulb to start the siphon and physics will do the rest. If you use the boat's fuel hose it will take a while to drain, but so what?
Whaler4me posted 05-24-2001 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler4me  Send Email to Whaler4me     
Just one thing to add. The fuel has been sitting in the tank for a VERY long time, will the gas have it's original liquid properties, or will it be like syrup ? Are there any additives that I can buy to loosen up any of the sludge in the tank ??

Thanks in Advance,


Tom W Clark posted 05-24-2001 04:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The gas will still be just as viscous as when new but will not likely be suitable for combustion in any motor you value highly, but if you have an old pick up truck...

As to sediment in the tank there may be some or a lot. There may also be water or God knows what else, but it not likely that any of it will be gooey. To get as much sediment out I would recommend trying to shake the fuel tank up as much as possible. This may mean trying to move the boat around and getting the fuel to slosh around in the tank in order to get the contaminants into suspension. You didn't say what kind of boat we are talking about so the above may not be practical advice. At any rate, after emptying the tank there should be a tank access port or perhaps the c. 2" port where the fuel sending unit is. Use this access to look for gunk in the bottom of the tank and if you can, try to swab out anything you can reach. Do not use a shop vac! It is tempting, but it's a true fire/explosion hazard.

As an alternative to all this, you could hire somebody to come to your boat and "polish" your fuel and/or dispose of it. What they do is cycle the fuel through some pretty serious filtration equipment and remove all the water and sediment while at the same time using the fuel flow to spray down the inside of the tank. The then dispose of the removed water and fuel that cannot cleaned any further. This is an expensive process. I had it done on one of my boats last fall. It was a 30 gallon tank about half full. They had to dispose of about 2 gallons and they used up two of their expensive filters. The total bill came to about $400.

daverdla posted 05-25-2001 12:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I bought an inexpensive hand pump from an autoparts store to pump out the tank of a car I am restoring. Worked great. Since its a pump and not a siphon, the reciever does not have to be below the level of the fuel tank. It has no metal parts. Its made for oil and gas. I think it was less than $20.

Be careful.

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